TRIBUTES have been paid to a York doctor whose body was found in the River Ouse.
Doctor Mandeep Ahluwalia was last seen by his mother on Friday afternoon, and left without his car, bank cards and mobile phone. His body was found in the river on Sunday.
Yesterday, tributes had been put up in the waiting room of the surgery.
Fran Raper, practice manager at Petergate Surgery, said: “He was our colleague and friend here and obviously our thoughts are with his family and friends at this point.
“He was a lovely bloke. We got on very well. We used to talk football and cricket and he was a top bloke.
“We were half expecting the worst. Obviously we are all shocked and saddened by the news.”
Dr Ahluwalia studied at the University of Aberdeen in 1997 and was a specialist in dermatology.
In his role as training man - ager at the Petergate Surgery, Dr Ahluwalia was involved in the training of dozens of young doctors at various stages in their careers, Mr Raper said, but he also worked as a family GP.
Former patient Hilary Platt said Dr Ahluwalia was “ a lovely person and a great doctor who looked after me and my family very well”, and who “always went the extra mile to make you feel good about yourself ”. She said: “I became ill over 12 years ago which completely changed my life.
“I had to give up work and the lifestyle I had been used to, and I also gained lots of weight due to the medication I have to take.
He kept me as well as I could possibly be and always had time for me.
“He would fit me in for appointments when I needed them, even if it meant at the end of surgery, and never made me feel like a burden.”
Dr Ahluwalia is the fourth person to die in York’s rivers since January.
The bodies of student Megan Roberts, 20, musician Ben Clarkson, 22, and 18-year-old Signaller Tyler Pearson have all been found in York’s rivers since January.
The Press has launched its Take Care campaign to raise awareness of river safety, while Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan has led a summit on river safety with organisations around the city, with more action expected in coming months.
One of Dr Ahluwalia’s neighbours in Chestnut Avenue said the GP had lived in Heworth for more than five years and was “a wonderful fellow”.
He said: “He was a wonderful man, friendly and kind.
“I had been ill not long before and he always asked how I was and for a doctor to even be interested while off duty, it just showed he cared.
“ I can’t say any more, just a wonderful fellow. ”